Sweating around the World! August w/a 1yr old w/lots of tips! PP PICs added! COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by harleyquinn, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Hello everyone!
    We're back from our super awesome first family trip to WDW, so I'm ready to get this TR rolling! My goal is to give you all as many tips/tricks as I can, and be entertaining to everyone who doesn't need them too! :goodvibes

    Here's the link to the PTR, which has tons of tip links and lots of great info, so if you are looking for young child tips in particular, it's a great place to start.
    Sweating PTR

    Of course as this goes along, I'll refer back to a lot of that info and let you know what worked and what was a flaming disaster. ;)

    For those who are skipping the PTR, let me introduce my family:

    Sarah (me):30 Obsessed WDW trip planner. I've been to WDW 6 times since 2003. I'm a children's librarian, which is the best job in the universe!

    Justin (The_Horned_King): 30 He is the reason I am obsessed. In 2003 we decided to go to WDW for our Honeymoon, but that wasn't until 2004. Then the 7 for 3 deal came out and we couldn't resist. Been to WDW 5 times since 03 and twice(?) as a kid. Middle school Art Teacher--so we slave to the school calendar. He has promised to come on and give his version of things. :thumbsup2

    This is from our January 06 trip back before DH found his teaching job.
    [​IMG]

    Lilliana: Our first baby, already a princess. She'll be 13 months for the August trip. This was Halloween:
    [​IMG]
    And this was about a month ago from her first b-day party:
    [​IMG]

    DH and I usually go in August, because that's really the best option for a teacher (school calendar) married to a librarian (summer reading @ the library in June/July). :sad2:

    So that was what we planned when I started getting crazy PIN code emails left and right. (That is what 4 seperate accounts plus a whole lotta "saved vacations" with disneyworld.com gets you!) And mixed in with the "free park hopper and more" emails I discovered a much coveted Free DINING PIN!! ANd not just the quick service one, no this is real free dining!! :dance3::yay::yay::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2: :banana:

    This was WAY before it was released to the general public, so eh. :thumbsup2

    So our dates:
    August 14-20

    And we drove!! Insane? You'll have to wait and see!
     
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  3. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I'd love to join in for your Disney fun! You guys are such a cute family.

    Looking forward to reading more.




    Lisa
     
  4. moparop

    moparop DIS Veteran

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    Jumping on board!! I can't wait to read about the good, the bad, and the ugly! :D
     
  5. arizonacolbys

    arizonacolbys Owner of 2 Crazy Labs!

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    Yay! Can't wait to hear all about it! :)
     
  6. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Hi Lisa! I've read your reports! I feel like I have a celebrity reader! ;) I love your titles!

    Almost done with the Photopass, but I'm part of a share, so those pics will have to wait. Unfortunately we didn't take a ton of good pics, since we knew we were getting the PP, but we have a LOT of great video to share.

    I've decided that the December trip is going to be a LOT about photos and meet n greets and very little about rides. (I didn't mention thast we'll be back in less than 4 months did I?) :teeth:
     
  7. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Fortunatly there was a LOT less ugly than I expected!

    Yay readers! :banana::banana:
     
  8. MaleficentandGoons

    MaleficentandGoons Mouseketeer

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    I'm here. I'm secretly trying to plan a trip for Christmas with our dd who will be 1 in Dec.
     
  9. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Glad to hear that you enjoy my reports. I have a lot of fun writing them.

    Oooh, video......I love videos.

    I am jealous that you're going back to Disney in just 4 months. I would so love to be there when the Christmas decorations are up. Haven't seen them since 2000.
     
  10. cmskok

    cmskok Mouseketeer

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    Welcome Home! I am so excited to read all about your trip!
     
  11. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    I feel so popular! :teeth:
     
  12. RachelNinja

    RachelNinja Sometimes I'd rather live in VMK than in real life

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    I'm in! I definitely understand being a "slave" to the school calendar! I went this past April during the dreaded Spring Break/Easter vacation time! Agh. Don't really have much of a choice though. I would've liked the February week, but my parents worry about the snow back home.

    Ahhh, Lilliana is adorable! I love that you brought her at such an early age! I know I definitely want to bring the kiddies (when I eventually have kiddies!) when they're really young too!
     
  13. asudol

    asudol Mouseketeer

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    Heading to WDW in 1 month with a 13 month old and 'just under 3 year' old in tow. Driving from Toronto.. Definitely looking forward to your tips so I can prepare :)
     
  14. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Alright, where to begin...

    About 6 days before we were planning on leaving, I decided to do the online check in. Thank goodness I did as I discovered that I had never canceled the first day of our trip! We had decided to go back in December (yay!), so we wanted to be cheap and have fewer days.

    DH decided that he really wanted the extra day, which turned out to be a great thing as
    1. We were able to have a DHS day
    2. We really ended up needing the extra day as you will see.

    Alright on with the show!

    Day 1 (or should I say Night 1?)
    The plan was to leave when DD woke up in the wee hours like she usually does. DD and I co-sleep and she is still nursing. I haven't braved night weaning yet, it's just so much easier to feed her and go back to sleep. ;)

    She almost always wakes up between 3 and 4 am, so I decided it would be best to leave then so she would sleep for the first big chunk of the drive. We live east of Cleveland, so the drive takes about 17 hours. The plan was to leave and stop overnight in South Carolina. I had made a reservation at a Holiday Inn Express about 9 hours down the road.

    So DD woke at 2:57am, and nursed while I listened to DH snore. He always wakes up when we get up, so I was a little miffed, because I knew he wanted to grab a few things while she ate. She finished and I not-so-gently woke DH and told him it was time to go. He apparently thought we would be leaving no earlier than 4am (I have NO idea where he got that number), so he sent us back to bed while he finished. DD fell back asleep, while I held her and my temper gently simmered away.

    30 minutes later DH let m know he was ready and I took DD to the car. So over the last 45 minutes or so, DD really hadn't gotten back to a deep sleep and she was pretty awake when I loaded her in the car. You know what's coming right? ;)

    We got on the road. I sat up front with DH since I knew DD would go back to sleep, right? :teeth:

    She was like this poor little zombie staring at the road for the next 5 (yes 5!) hours. She was mostly quiet, but did have spells of 5-10 minutes when she screamed. :( I spent the time trying to get her to sleep and being mad at DH for not being ready to leave and being a jerk about her crying. Obviously that 30 minutes had made all the difference right? ;)

    She did have times where she would doze a bit, but she finally feel asleep for real at 8am. We debated stopping and me moving in the back, but every time we were about to do it, she would doze and we'd pray that this would be the time she'd really fall asleep. Obviously the screaming spells weren't that plentiful or we would have stopped.

    So 9am rolls around and she's sleeping peacefully...and we're almost out of gas! lol So we stop and she wakes up. :( I decide it's time for breakfast, so we eat at Bob Evans. It was one of the most difficult meals we've ever had. She wouldn't let me put her down or even sit down at first. There were some very nice people who talked to her and she settled down completely once the food came.

    I tried to get her to nurse before we left, but she refused. I'm not comfortable NIP(nursing in public), so we tried the car, which we've done a bunch of times before. This would be a trend the whole trip down. She only nursed once the first day. We did have a couple of bottles of ebm, which I gave her when I couldn't find anything else that made her happy. That worked, but I worried about the trip home since we wouldn't have them then. (BTW, I'm a working mom, so DD is used to bottles of ebm and she'd been slowing down with nursing before the trip and I had stopped pumping, so I survived! :)) (BTW BTW I hope the nursing stuff isn't TMI, but I find most people gloss over it in TRs and I want to give you all the info I can). Which brings me to my first...

    **Nursing Baby Tip!
    Bring a bottle or 2 of ebm if possible! We had a cooler in the car with us and a fridge at the hotel, so we were able to have bottles for the drive. We brought a frozen bag that thawed enough for a couple ounces at a time, which was perfect as I think DD really only wanted it for comfort and not out of necessity.

    After breakfast, I took up residence in the backseat (my permenent home for the rest of the drive) and kept her entertained with my patent pending Mommy's Super Special Bag o Tricks!

    Contents of Mommy's Super Special Bag o Tricks
    1. SNACKS!! And sippy cup with water. I can't express how important snacks were for us on this trip, both for the drive and along the way, which I will detail later. We prefer Earths Best Organic Crunchin Grahams, Crunchin Crackers, and pretzel rods. We also had apples and grapes. DD has teeth and loves to munch on apples once we eat the skin off. I was a little worried about them in the car, but she did great and I was right next to her. I peeled the skin off the grapes too.

    The biggest tip here I can give is to bring the snacks your child is used to and some they haven't had too much of. DD loved the grapes, and I found an Apple version of the Crunchin Grahams that were great.

    2. Toys! Stickers, a small Magna Doodle, bubbles (used in the most extreme cases), a light up flashlight/wand thing that came in handy for more than just a distraction, some FP Little People, books. I had a couple of very small stuff animals that I played hide n seek with her, which were a big hit. Her favorites were the Magna Doodle (she'd never used one before) and the fuzzy dice I have in my car. lol

    Again a good mix of familiar and never used. She'd never played with stickers or the magna doodle. Most times each toy would distract her for only a few minutes, but the constant rotation of things worked really well.

    3. (#1 in useage) DVD player. She didn't completely veg out to it like I expected (hoped :p). I was often rotating toys with the video running. We brought some full movies (she likes Nemo and Toy Story the best) and a lot of TV shows like Mickey Mouse Club house, Sesame Street and the Wonder Pets. Sometimes she was done with the movies way before they were over, and I switched things out.

    4. Music DH made a mix with her favorite songs from TV and not(mainly Phineas and Ferb! lol) DH realized that she would get fussy to certain songs, because they were slower and she thought we were trying to put her to sleep (did I mention she HATES sleep?) It was too funny. She would fuss and DH skipped the song and she would smile and kick.

    DD did very little sleeping, so the ride was very draining on me, but really surprisingly it wasn't bad at all. I think time actually passed much quicker than I remember when the drive was just DH and I.
     
  15. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Welcome!
    We weren't sure if it would prove to be a good idea, but you'll see. ;)

    If you have any questions, let me know!
     
  16. sbprincess

    sbprincess Mouseketeer

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    Loving the report so far! Although I don't have kids yet, DH and I are currently working on changing that ;) Can't wait to read more!
     
  17. CRSNDSNY

    CRSNDSNY <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg

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    I'm aboard!!!!

    Great start so far. I give you tons of credit for attempting that drive. It sounds like things are going good so far. :)
     
  18. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Day 1, Part 2

    We ended up stopping about every 3 hours (not including the early morning fiasco). We played it by ear. When DD seemed to have had enough (or I needed to pee), we stopped. I would change DD and we'd try to let her crawl around a bit. We brought a ball with us to play with, but it was so HOT at the rest stops that we didn't play for long. It worked well though, and DD was refreshed enough each time.

    We were nearing our hotel and doing really well. We stopped to figure out where exactly we were, which leads me to:

    **Stupid Obvious Tip
    Make sure if you have a hotel reservation that you know the address of the hotel and have it in your GPS or printed out directions. lmao.

    I had to call my mom to get the address for me (I could have called the 800 number, but that's what moms are for). The GPS couldn't find it. I assumed there would be an exit for the town. I knew it was the Blythewood HI...(I think I found the exit on the way back lol). We were doing so well at this point that we decided to push on (Lily fell asleep at this point). We had stayed at the HI Orangeburg on previous trips, so we knew where it was. lol I had specifically called and made the initial reservation so that we could cancel without penalty. All the online reservations were much more strict about cancelations. We had up until 6pm to cancel the reservation. We made it to Orangeburg around 2 and ended up with a better rate anyway.

    DD was so happy to be free. I love the HI Epress because the rooms are so big. They are like normal Disney size rooms, plus a little living area with a couch and table.

    It was here that DD discovered her very favorite thing about the trip. The air conditioners in the hotel rooms. :lmao: Seriously, I think she would have been happy to stand in front of them and let them blow her hair around the entire week. :thumbsup2

    [​IMG]

    DH went out and got us some KFC (my Weight Watchers life style was out the window for this trip!!) and we ate at our little table.

    At this point we've realized that this hotel is not the ideal little place we had stopped at on previous trips. There were quite a bit more dining choices around the place and a LOT more people. Not a big deal until night time hit.

    We were all asleep by 6!!! I spent a bit listening to the elephant circus that was apparently going on on the floor above us. Luckily it didn't bother DH or DD, just me. The circus went on off and on until at least midnight (or maybe it was constant and I fell asleep). If DD wasn't sleeping I would have definitely called and complained after 10 pm. The noise was ridiculous. :headache:

    Here is what we look like most nights. I was so excited that we'd finally have a co-sleeping picture!
    [​IMG]

    We let DD dictate our wake up time. HIE has a great free continental breakfast with the yummiest cinnamon rolls ever! We were back on the road by 9:30 with only 6 hours to go!

    **Stupid Obvious Tip That I Overlooked
    If you are stopping for one night, pack an overnight bag! Duh! We wasted some time sweating in the heat, digging through our suitcases for the few things we needed. Doh! :headache:
     
  19. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Oh! I'm sending you lots of baby making pixie dust! Enjoy this time though, it's some of the best time of your life!

    I only did it because of DH. I would have MUCH preferred to fly!

    Glad you're here!

    I'm excited to see all the December peeps since we'll be back then!
     
  20. arizonacolbys

    arizonacolbys Owner of 2 Crazy Labs!

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    Love all the tips so far!! :thumbsup2 We always fly, but we are driving this Dec (also from east of Cleveland ;) ) since we'll have 2 little ones & airfare was so outrageous. We also wanted a car down there with the two of them. I'm excited, but also nervous about the drive! LOL I've already started accumulating my Bag 'O Tricks for the trip from the dollar store & dollar section at Target. My older DD, Maddie, also HATES sleep!! :rotfl: So, my biggest fear is that we'd get up at 3-4 am & she'd do exactly what your DD did, LOL We're talking about leaving after an early dinner & driving as long as we can overnight while they sleep.

    I love the idea to bring a ball for running around at the rest stops! :thumbsup2
     
  21. SFRN97

    SFRN97 Mouseketeer

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    Welcome back. Read your PTR can't wait to read the TR now. Am going down in Nov with a will be 14 month old and 4 1/2 yo then.
     

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